I almost, almost called this piece “At The Movies” but then I realized 1) that was Siskel and Ebert’s show and 2) I actually haven’t been to the movies in forever, just like you. Moviegoing has been one of my favourite things to do ever since I can remember. Growing up in the 1980s, I had the good fortune of having parents who would always take me to the movies; from summer blockbusters to high falutin’ fare (my mom took me to see Amadeus when I was 7 or 8, and I seem to recall digging it).
I got my first taste of horror films going to the movies with my dad, with the one that probably set me on the path first being Jaws 3D. I remember it was opening weekend, a Saturday night in 1983. It was my first 3D film in theatres, and my first Jaws film as well. What we’d consider hokey effects now were right in my 6-year old face, and Jaws 3D left an indelible mark upon my psyche. Sharks scare the shit out of me. These days, I can hardly swim in an ocean, but I’ll happily watch a movie like Deep Blue Sea over and over. I find this masochist nature of mine funny even, especially considering one of my favourite films of all time is Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, which just arrived for its 45th anniversary in a new 4K release.
I’m not the first, or the 1000th to want to wax poetic about the granddaddy of summer blockbusters. What I will say is this – I think Jaws is a perfect film. I’d suggest that while Steven Spielberg has made movies that can proudly stand beside Jaws as near-perfect cinematic experiences, I don’t know if he’s ever been better. The performances from Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, and Robert Shaw are all brilliant. The story moves at a pace that is never less than engaging and holds up even today when audiences crave so much ear and eye-candy from their pop culture offerings (not that there’s anything wrong with that). But what impressed me most when I put on this 4K disc and watched Jaws yet again was just how genuinely scary it still was. It didn’t matter that it was a Sunday morning and the sun was shining. It didn’t matter that I knew so many of the beats of the film. I still jumped when I was supposed to, and I still felt tense knowing what was to come.
It’s the hopeless feeling of inevitability.
While Jaws has been repackaged multiple times on Blu-ray, the Jaws 45th Anniversary Limited Edition from Universal Pictures is its first appearance in 4K. I can’t imagine a film 45 years old looking any better. The colours are vibrant, the sounds, the score and the picture all seem to have not aged a day. This is the way to watch Jaws. And while the myriad bonus features, all of which have come from previous releases, aren’t remastered to such high quality, they have been included on the 4K disc, so you don’t have flip between that and the include Blu-ray. This 45th-anniversary edition also includes a digital copy, booklet and a lenticular cover.
If you do have a copy of Jaws already in your collection and don’t have a 4K player, you might want to hold off, since that is the main selling point this time out. However, if somehow you’ve never owned a copy of Jaws before, the Jaws 45th Anniversary Limited Edition 4K edition fully loaded edition is absolutely the one to get. It’s a perfect celebration of a perfect film that still hasn’t lost any of its power.
You can order the Jaws 45th Anniversary Limited Edition here.